The Ontario Institute of Agrologists (OIA) is committed to providing fair and transparent registration processes for internationally educated agrologists. We will utilize curriculum and review processes developed, implemented and undertaken to ensure that internationally educated Agrologists possess the skills and competencies to enter the Agrology profession, address the barriers to labour market entry, and enhance the capacity of the OIA to integrate internationally educated Agrologists into the Ontario labour market.
Completion of the registration process will result in conferring the right to use the title Professional Agrologist or Technical Agrologist and the right to use the initials P.Ag. or T.Ag. after one’s name. Most applicants begin as Articling Agrologists (Agrologists In-training) or A.Ag. The primary objective of the OIA’s registration process is to ensure that those with a professional Agrology designation and who are registered with the OIA possess the knowledge and skills in sufficient degree to competently perform important occupational activities within one’s scope of practice (area of specialty) and to protect the public interest.
OIA certification represents "proof of competence" or "qualification assurance". Achieving a professional Agrology designation can help prepare internationally educated agrology professionals for the realities of the Ontario labour marketplace. If you received your education outside of Canada, your education must be assessed by an international credentialing organization such as World Education Service (WES) or the International Credential Assessment Service (ICAS).
The Ontario Institute of Agrologists (OIA) functions under an Act of the Ontario Legislature, Bill Pr15, an Act Respecting the Ontario Institute of Professional Agrologists. There are over 10,000 licensed agrology practitioners across Canada and an Institute of Agrology in each province. Each Institute has the legal and legislative mandate to oversee the profession to protect the public interest and to ensure high quality standards and ethics within the professional activities of its licensed members. Labour mobility compliance also has meant efforts to harmonize standards.
With the public’s increasing need for involvement and protection within the agriculture, agri-life science and agri-food system, the demand for qualification assurance through registration within Agrology is increasing. As change within the agriculture industry becomes more integrated with bio-technology, environment, health and consumerism, it creates more and new demand on manpower, knowledge, skill and experience. Canada’s vibrant agricultural industry needs more registered professionals and the internationally educated are poised to fill this void.
International trained Agrologists bring extensive skills, education and experience to Ontario. The OIA was funded by the Province of Ontario for a pilot offering of the Internationally Educated Professional Agrologists (IEPA) Project from 2006 - 2008. The Project saw 245 people completing applications to the program and 138 received their Articling Agrologist (A.Ag.) and Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) designations. A total of 72 people obtained employment in the agriculture sector commensurate with their skill levels.
In the spring of 2009, the OIA was informed that the organization was accepted for renewal funding. Over 4 years, 253 applications were received; 184 applicants received their Articling Agrologist (A.Ag.) and Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.) designations; and a total of 104 jobs obtained.
OIA’s Internationally Educated Agrologists Project led to OIA members getting good jobs in their area of specialty, as well as contribute to rural economic growth and Ontario’s long-term economic prosperity. Despite improved numerics and returning $153,000 to the Ontario government due to operational efficiencies, effective April 1, 2013 no new Internationally Educated Professional Agrologist Project Applications have been accepted. The OIA exhausted all efforts and the largest employment sector in Ontario no longer has a government-funded bridging-to-employment initiative. However, internationally educated and experienced practitioners remain invited to achieve their professional designation.
The OIA provides workshops geared to internationally educated Agrologists regarding the Act and regulations, professional practice, culture of Ontario workplaces, exam preparation, employment readiness and other professional matters. These workshops have a cost associated with registration. The OIA holds an annual spring professional development conference where applicants are able to meet working P.Ag.s and T.Ag.s as well as gain knowledge of the profession. See the OIA website for workshop schedules, branch and conference/continuous professional development information.